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CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting
http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=21169
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Author:  angela [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

I notice that some companies(like the San Jose Ballet Azlan!)cast their adult female dancers in this role;I like the ideal esp in fufilling the dream of a ballerina who may have always wanted to play her-what do yous think?(the Joffrey does the same thing by the way).

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

Oh, no, you don't, Angela. I'm not falling for that one again. No more comments about Ballet San Jose from me for the time being. Image

Author:  Bree [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

I agree with the decision to make Clara/Marie an adult role. Not only does it take care of the messy business of casting the part (think lots of crying children), but it also gives the role maturity. I have seen way too many young girls play the role with utter indifference - it can completely ruin the story!<P>I would love to see a production with an adult Clara/Marie!

Author:  Basheva [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

In the ABT production with Baryshnikov and Kirkland...that is one with the role played by an adult.<P>

Author:  nancy [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

Baryshnikov's Nutcracker had an adult Clara. On the video tape, it was Gelsey Kirkland. As I recall, Gelsey was not able to dance the premiere in New York, and we saw, I believe, Marianna Tcherkassky do a wonderful job with it. (I hope I am telling the truth; it was a long time ago!...). Baryshnikov had adult corps dancers playing the other children's roles as well.<P>Didn't Pacific Northwest also have an adult in that role? I think I saw that production on video tape, too.<P>I got to do the role of Clara when the Boston Ballet came to my college, and had an extensive injury roster. What a thrill that was for me! They only took the Suite on tour, not the whole production, so I didn't have to do much. But it was a great experience (way back in the Dark Ages...). So, at least at some time in the past, Boston cast adults as well.

Author:  nancy [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

OKAY, BASHEVA! We have to stop meeting like this! How many times in the past week have we posted at the same time?.... Spooky!

Author:  Basheva [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

Nancy - I think we should continue to keep meeting like this! LOL

Author:  Lucy [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

At the RWB [Stuart adds: Royal Winnipeg Ballet]in John Neumier's production of the Nutcracker Maria was danced by Marina Eglevsky and the children were danced by adults. Violet Verdy danced the role of the big sister, and it was filmed for the BBC. Wonder if it is still shown, as I do not get residuals anymore...hmmm? <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 08, 2001).]

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

Wow, Lucy, that sounded like a star-studded cast! Which role did you dance?

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

Nancy, that must have been such a thrill to dance with Boston Ballet, as a child. Now, did you get paid...

Author:  Lucy [ Sat Jul 07, 2001 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

I was Maria's friend and partner to Fritz in Act 1, and Chinese tea pas de deux with Drosselmeyer danced by Max Midenet from John's company in Frankfurt. They changed some stuff to make it better for TV, such as adding a 15 pound wig for me to wear. Your turns are vastly different with that much weight on your head, let me tell you.

Author:  JaneGrey [ Sun Jul 08, 2001 3:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

Well, I'm only somebody that buys a ticket, but I'd have to disagree with most of you.<P>Kirkland might have been enchanting on stage, but on video an adult playing a child is kind of sickening. They simply can't be subtle ENOUGH. A grown man trying to "act a kid" is downright silly.<P>They just can't DO it. They are clownish looking.<P>To DATE, the ONLY adult that I have ever seen pull off playing a kid is Martin Short in Clifford. He was as impish as any "real kid" I've ever seen. And that required camera tricks, and him walking on his knees.<P>Most ballets are "adult theme". So let the kids have Nut. It's more "believable" that way. And anyhow, when a kid dances Marie, it means that Snow Queen and Plum get to dance more. 'Cause Marie is usually cast as a character part.<P>I also find it annoying when Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella, or Juliet are danced by some aging Diva with some young guy trying his BEST to look "longingly" at them.<P>It's hard to get caught up in a "fake" moment.

Author:  Basheva [ Sun Jul 08, 2001 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

I enjoyed every "fake" moment of Rudolph looking longingly at Margot.....<P>I was totally convinced, still am, for that matter.<P>But it is a matter of personal taste I suppose.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jul 08, 2001 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

The new Sir Peter Wright production for the Royal Ballet has Clara and the Nutcracker played by adults. This was deliberate so that the two lead dancing roles could be enhanced. The production was very well recieved and even I, not a great Nutcracker fan, had lots of fun.<P>I saw Alina Cojacoro and Ivan Petrov, both in their late teens or thereabouts and they were superb. WE don't expect to see a child playing Juliet, so i really don't see why we can't have an adult play Clara, albeit that she stays in the childlike personna unlike Juliet.<P>I can understand that others may prefer to see children in these roles and that's fine as well. I wouldn't try to prescribe for people which version they should prefer.

Author:  nancy [ Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CLARA/MARIE:nutcracker casting

I wouldn't prescribe, either, and I think both approaches are valid. It depends on the concept of the production.<P>JaneGrey, I agree with you that, at times, adults playing children can backfire. I remember in Baryshnikov's Nutcracker, feeling uncomfortable with some of the antics of Fritz and Friends. But some of the women did well with the kids' parts. And I thought both Gelsey (even in the video) and Marianna were wonderful. In this production, Clara is a child on the brink of young womanhood, and I didn't sense a false impulse from either of these ballerinas. It worked completely for me.<P>Re: old Divas, the first thing that came to mind for me was Fonteyn and Nureyev in R&J. She was much older than he. But during that performance, they were both teen-agers. No question about it.<P>Azlan, it was a thrill for me to do that brief stint with Boston. I don't think I was paid. If I was, it wasn't much, I'm sure. There might have been some type of honorarium, but it was a long time ago, and I honestly don't remember. I do remember walking into the Land of the Sweets on the arm of the Prince, being greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, and genuinely feeling awe. I didn't have to act it. The dancers were very kind, and the company director Sam Kurkijian (or something like that?) was extremely complimentary. I glowed for weeks. That was better than money.

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